A new set of stairs has been added to the swimming pool at Barton Community College, making the pool more accessible. The addition was funded by Barton’s Silver Cougar Club and the Bill J McKown Endowment.
Accessibility is really what community colleges are all about, said Darnell Holopirek, director of the BCC Foundation. Barton prides itself on prioritizing accessibility on all fronts, which is why the latest addition to its pool is a step in the right direction, she added.
Residents with disabilities and elderly students were previously deterred from taking swimming or water aerobics classes at Barton because the vertical ladders made exiting and entering the pool too difficult.
“We have been asked for this accessibility to the pool several times, but it just seems like we have had more requests recently,” Holopirek said. “The request came from some of the Silver Cougar Club members that are currently or have in the past taken a swim or water-aerobics class. There are many senior citizens who cannot utilize the pool any longer because of a physical impairment that stops them from being able to climb the ladder to exit the pool. We do hope this will allow us to have more participants.”
The Bill J McKown Endowment was established in 2006 to fund handicap accessibility projects at Barton. This was its first project.